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The 30 Most Important Cats Of 2013

This year has not been an easy one, but these are the heroic cats and kittens who helped us navigate it. Let us pay them tribute.

30. Cat Who Sees Her Own Reflection

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This year was a mirror that showed us our darkest selves. To confront that dire simulacrum and — instead of blanching — sort of wave one's paws about worriedly is honestly about the best that anyone can be expected to muster.

29. Destiny Cat

As a new year approaches with the force of a hurricane, do not be afraid, but think of Destiny Cat, who stood his ground and looked vaguely like an Ewok.

28. Epic Boop Cat

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"Who among you, when confronted by the unmanning strangeness of The Other, would have the grace and courage to look it directly in the eye and boop it gently on the forehead?"

—This cat

27. Cat Who Sees His Owner After A Six-Month Tour Of Duty

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Major premise: A man's life is nothing more than the sum of his actions.

Minor premise: A man's actions are nothing more than the sum of his feedings.

Conclusion: If a man leaves but the feedings continue, there is nothing to miss.

—Logical axiom about this cat

26. First-World Cat Problems Cat

In a difficult year, it was helpful to remember that however deep our problems, they could never approach the magnitude and drama of the tribulations faced by First-World Cat Problems Cat.

25. Cat Who Attacks His Own Leg

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"If thy leg offend thee, grab it firmly with both paws and bite furiously at thy knee."

—Cat Bible: Matthew 18:9

24. Cat Beards

It is a cowardly thing indeed to hide your face from the world. But if you do it with a Cat Beard, you basically get a pass.

23. Vacuum-Licking Cat

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"Inevitably, the vacuum of time sucks our essence into the void of history. It is up to us whether to taste of it as it tastes of us." —Inspirational saying

22. Shell Game Cat

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The unerring accuracy of this beautiful animal was a powerful reminder that you will never lose at the shell game of life as long as you keep your paws pointed in the right general direction.

21. Tearful Cat Floating Behind Miley Cyrus at the AMAs

In many ways, we all floated behind Miley Cyrus and cried this year.

20. Fat Cat Squeezing Through a Small Doggie Door

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"Between desire and success there is a door called fear, and if you are too timid to open it, a fat cat will probably squeeze through it and yowl at you."

—Metaphor about this cat that started well and then kind of went off the rails

Or, to paraphrase Horace, Parturient fores, nascetur ridiculus felis.

19. Brides Throwing Cats

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the only proven cure for a lonely, loveless life is sucking it up and getting a cat. Hence this ritual.

18. Waffles the Terrible

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Next time you find yourself perched atop the slippery car roof that is your own bad planning, remember Waffles the Terrible, and brace yourself.

17. Sleep Dancing Kitty

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It is said of Sleep Dancing Kitty that "he heard the songs of angels while he slumbered," but it is more likely that he was experiencing a commonplace occurrence of involuntary sleep myoclunus.

16. Sam, the Cat with Eyebrows

Instagram: @samhaseyebrows

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then eyebrows are the tasteful drapes to the soul — and Sam, the Cat with Eyebrows, is the absolute best value in the Window Treatments section down at the Ikea of the Soul.

15. Kitten Who Tried So Hard to Meow

"And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven ... and he cried with a loud voice, as when a kitten on your shoulder meoweth adorably into your ear, and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices."

—Eschatological kitten prophecy

14. Topher, The Cat Who Got Stuck Between Two Trees

"Place your back feet on the tree of aspiration and your front feet on the tree of perseverance, and then if nothing happens wait for a grown-up to come and bail you out."

—Bad advice

13. Malfunctioning Tongue Cat

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"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Stick out your tongue then somehow forget to put it back, and the world laughs at you."

—True fact

12. Lion King-Reenacting Kittens

2013 was a difficult and often painful year, but no amount of calamity or social upheaval could erase the indelible truth that once upon a time and forever in our hearts, two overdramatic kittens bravely reenacted The Lion King in their living room.

11. Dubstep Kitty

"Beneath the frills and finery, the bluster and the pomp

each one of us is dubstep kitty, going womp womp womp womp womp."

—Actual poem

10. Two Cats Walking a Toy Kitten

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"Do not be afraid of the unexpected kittens in life, but take them firmly by the leash and lead them confidently down the hallway."

—Weird, but ultimately solid, advice

9. Kitten Meeting a Hedgehog

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"When someone you meet is prickly and weird, it's definitely OK to smell them but you shouldn't try to snuggle with them."

—This kitten

8. Sir Stuffington

Facebook: Sir.Stuffington

Sir Stuffington was a pirate cat who sailed across the sea-o...

AmyWho Photography / Via Facebook: Sir.Stuffington

...and with his dread companions he made a deadly trio...

Facebook: Sir.Stuffington

...with just one glance at his pirate patch, his enemies would flee-o...

Facebook: Sir.Stuffington

...for Stuffington was a pirate cat with confidence and brio.

—Old sea shanty about Sir Stuffington

7. Water Balloon–Popping Cat

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"The most beautiful things in life are fragile and we can destroy them with the slightest sharpness in ourselves," says this cat. "But it's way better if you have a whole bowlful of them so you can do it over and over."

6. The "Sad Cat Diary" Cats

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The sad cats of "Sad Cat Diary" reminded us this year that true petulance is an art form and passive aggression is the purest form of aggression.

5. Princess Monstertruck

Instagram: @princessmonstertruck

With nothing more than hard work, creative vision, and a world-beating underbite, Princess Monstertruck reminded us that anything is possible if you just grit your crazy teeth and try.

4. "OMG, Is That a Balloon?" Cat

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If the shirtless guy of fate passes you holding the balloon of opportunity, be this cat.

3. Maru's Cat, Hana

Maru, you unfettered genius. Who else but a cat with your beautiful mind would think to get a cat of your own? Have I ever mentioned that you are my everything?

2. Cat Who Is Friends with an Overly Affectionate Sloth

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Having suffered, for nigh a twelvemonth, the embraces of the overly affectionate sloth that was 2013, each one of us can identify with this cat right now.

1. Cat in a Shark Costume Who Chases a Duck While Riding on a Roomba

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No matter what trials await us in the coming year, there is no manner of adversity that will be able to remove from our hearts the ecstatic triumph that comes with the certain knowledge that on one fateful day in our short but momentous history upon this planet, a cat, dressed as a shark, chased a duck. On a Roomba.